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Rediff.com  » Sports » PHOTOS: India's highs and lows on Day 10

PHOTOS: India's highs and lows on Day 10

Last updated on: August 7, 2012 01:20 IST

PHOTOS: India's highs and lows on Day 10

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M C Mary Kom punched her way into the women's boxing semi-finals at the Olympic Games to ensure India of at least a bronze medal while Vikas Gowda joined a select group of the country's track and field athletes by entering the finals of men's discus throw on Monday.

The Manipuri mother of twin boys, fought her way past a hapless Tunisian opponent Maroua Rahali to score an emphatic 15-6 verdict in the quarter-final to ensure a medal for the country in the inaugural edition of women's boxing.

In boxing, there is no fight-off for a bronze between the losing semifinalists and even if the 29-year-old Mary loses her next bout she will finish the Games with a bronze in her kitty.

Feisty Mary fought in a calculative manner as she used the first round to sort out her taller Tunisian opponent and then slowly upped the ante in the subsequent three rounds to chalk out a thumping verdict.

The five-time world champion also became the third Indian woman to attain medal standards at the Games, and the second here after shuttler Saina Nehwal. Weightlifter Karnam Malleswari had won a bronze in 2000 Sydney Games.


Image: Mary Kom of India competes against Maroua Rahali (Red) of Tunisia during the Women's Fly (51kg) Boxing quarter-finals
Photographs: Scott Heavey/Getty Images

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'I hope my dreams come true'

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Mary Kom will take on local favourite and second seed Nicola Adams of Great Britain in the semi-finals to be held on August 8.

Adams prevailed over Stoyka Petrova of Bulgaria with a convincing 16-7 verdict in another quarter-final bout.

"I am extremely happy, now I hope my dreams come true. For the past year I have been dreaming of an Olympic medal and now I am ready," Mary Kom said after her bout.

Mary Kom had been training with boxers who were heavier and taller than her to be able to cope with her rivals in the Olympics.

"I hope I will try for a silver, then after that let's see. For the last three or four years, I have been training with boys taller and heavier than me. It has helped a lot.

"Now I am not really tired, but yesterday was really hard. I am getting into the groove and hopefully will be able to deliver when it matters the most. I am eagerly looking forward to that," she said.


Image: Mary Kom of India celebrates after defeating Maroua Rahali of Tunisia in the Women's Fly (51kg) Boxing quarterfinals
Photographs: Scott Heavey/Getty Images

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Gowda qualified for men's discus throw final

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Strongman Gowda qualified for the men's discus throw final round without much fuss, but Indian shooters, including 10m air rifle bronze winner Gagan Narang, were eliminated in the preliminaries.

US-based Gowda hurled the disc 20 cms beyond the automatic qualification standard of 65m in only his second throw to enter the finals to be held on Tuesday.

The 29-year-old's throw was the fifth best, and the top throw in Group A, in the two-group qualifying rounds and, with a personal best of 66.28 under his belt, he has raised hopes of climbing the medal podium.

Gowda, who started with a modest effort of 63.52m before breaching the automatic qualifying mark, has joined a select list of seven Indian athletes to have made it to the finals in track and field events at the world's greatest sports extravaganza.

Gowda is also only the second Indian to make the finals in track and field at the ongoing Games after Krishna Poonia, who eventually finished seventh in women's discus throw.


Image: Vikas Gowda of India competes in the Men's Discus Throw qualification
Photographs: Michael Steele/Getty Images

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Disappointing day for shooters

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Away from the track and field scene, the shooters came a cropper on the last day of competitions and the list included Narang, who had opened the country's medal heist with a bronze on July 30 in the men's 10m air rifle.

Narang could not replicate that feat either in the rifle prone sandwiched between the air rifle and Monday's 50m 3-position competition in which he finished a distant 20th out of 41 shooters and failed to enter the finals.

His compatriot Sanjeev Rajput too crashed out of the same event by ending up 26th, while trap shooter Manavjit Singh Sandhu also flopped logging 119 out of 125 and finished 16th out of 34 contestants to end the country's campaign.

The shooters, thus, ended their show here with a haul of one silver (Vijay Kumar in 25m Rapir Fire Pistol) and one bronze (Narang).


Image: India's Gagan Narang prepares to shoot, during qualifiers for the men's 50-meter rifle 3 positions, at the 2012 Summer Olympics
Photographs: Rebecca Blackwell/AP

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Narang off the radar

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The 29-year-old Narang fell by the wayside as he totalled 1164 points out of a possible 1200 with rounds of 398 377 and 389 in Prone, Standing and Kneeling, respectively at the Royal Artillery Barracks.

In the Prone category, Narang, who won four gold medals in the 2010 Commonwealth Games, started off brilliantly by shooting 100 in his first round followed by 99, 100 and 99 in the next three series for a total of 398 out of 400.

However, he went off the boil in the Standing round as he misfired as many as 23 shots to log a poor 97, 90, 96, 94 for a dismal total of 377, which saw him slip down the ladder.

He, though, came up with a slightly better show in the final round, in Kneeling position, firing a series of 97, 97, 98, 97 for 389 but it was not good enough to recover lost ground.


Image: India's Gagan Narang prepares to shoot, during qualifiers for the men's 50-meter rifle 3 positions
Photographs: Rebecca Blackwell/AP

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